Report: Avalanche’s Byram told father, ‘I can’t play and feel like this’

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram pursues the puck during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Denver. (AP)

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Bowen Byram stepped away from the team because of concussion symptoms, his father told Adrian Dater at Colorado Hockey Now on Wednesday.

Shawn Byram and his wife, Stacey, received a phone call Tuesday morning from their son, who told them, “‘I can’t do it. I can’t play and feel like this,’” Shawn Byram told Colorado Hockey Now.

According to the report, Byram, 20, told the team on Tuesday that he needed to take time off, and the Avalanche granted the request of the fourth-overall pick in 2019, officially saying Byram had left for “personal reasons.”

The Avs were in Nashville, having come off a 4-3 win at home over Seattle in which Byram played 23 shifts for 20:20, had four hits and was minus-1. The Cranbook, B.C., native and former Team Canada World Juniors captain has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 18 games this season.

Multiple reports have said that Byram has suffered three concussions since making his NHL debut a year ago.

“I think he feels, like we all do, that he has to really get to the bottom of this,” Shawn Byram told Dater. “We’re trying to research this and do our due diligence, and the Avalanche have been great. We’re happy with how he’s been treated and all that. It’s ultra-frustrating for him and it’s frustrating for us. But we’ve just got to keep trying. We have to keep having faith in the health system. We’re hoping it’s something that can be fixed. He’s seen quite a few different people. At the end of the day, we’re hoping it’s a kid playing hockey at the highest level he can.”

There is no word on when the defenceman will return.

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